Being a full time artist has many rewards, but it also has its challenges. You have plenty of time to make art, but working all day every day can lead to burnout and becoming stale. What I do to counter that is to make sure I do a variety of things every week. I usually spend my days either making fine art, or promoting and building my art and publishing business. That involves drawing, making prints, framing, doing website work, pumping the social media machine, blogging, etc. But at night, I like to sit in front of the TV or fireplace with my wife. I don’t know about you, but I am constitutionally incapable of just sitting and watching TV – I need to do something with my hands. So, I usually draw either fine drawings, create coloring pages, or coloring those pages in for book promotion. Frankly, I vowed not to do more coloring books, but I just can’t seem to help myself. They are fun to make, low stress, and I like to draw in pen & ink, rather than just with colored pencils.
Besides the fun aspect, I can’t avoid the fact that my first coloring book EQUINOX is still my best selling book! I have published seven books now, and coloring books still outsell the others. So, it is a good business decision to make more. My specialty seems to be whimsy, as you can see in EQUINOX and Willoughby’s World of Wonder. So I am embarking on a science fiction coloring book, but adding a touch of whimsy. Many of the rockets and robots will look like painted, metal tin-toys, an aesthetic I personally love.
These images will be informed by my long love of science fiction and old, classic, retro sci-fi movies. You’ll see touches of The Invaders, Star Wars, Lost in Space, The Day The Earth Stood Still and so many more. So, this is what I do in the evenings, sitting in front of the tube, usually watching Futurama. The book should be done around May, but, in the meantime, the pages are going up on Etsy as I finish them.